Archive of ‘Manila Standard-Today: The Hoarse Whisperer’ category

THW: No races at MMTC this week

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 12 November 2014, Wednesday

No races at MMTC this week

Races at Metro Manila Turf Club’s racetrack in Malvar, Batangas, were not held this week after some 88 jockeys submitted their excuse forms for the Nov. 11 and 12 (Tues. and Wed.) races scheduled there.

Given this, the Philippine Racing Commission passed the baton to the Manila Jockey Club, in line with a standing policy that if any reason a racetrack cannot conduct races on its scheduled racedays, the schedule will be passed to the next racetrack in the rotation. Races last night were held at MJC’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Last week, around 51 jockeys also refused to ride at Metro Turf, which resulted in the cancellation of the Nov. 6 races.

In a letter to Philracom dated 5 Nov. from the New Philippine Jockeys Association, the licensed riders said “each jockey has individually decided temporarily not to ride in the races held at [MMTC] this coming Nov. 6 and 7 races until it is made safer for the jockeys and the horses.”

These decisions stem from an accident suffered by jockey Leonardo T. Cuadra Jr. there last Nov. 2. According to the NPJA, Cuadra is now in critical condition and has undergone two operations; part of his skull has been removed to relieve pressure from hematomas.

This incident follows three others that occurred Oct. 11 and 12. In a letter to MMTC dated 13 Oct., the NPJA requested MMTC to “renovate said track with the goal of placing more fine sand to at least a similar level with that of the two other race tracks [MJC and Philippine Racing Club].”

They pointed to accidents at Metro Turf involving RR de Leon on Oct. 11 on horse Only The Best, and on Oct. 12 by JB Guce on Show Must Go On and VR Dilema on Epic, saying, “the jockeys concerned were unanimous in stating that the surface they landed on felt more like concrete than a proper track with some cushion.”

This was rebutted by the track in two letters dated Oct. 22, from the racing manager and from MMTC legal counsel, saying that “we take care of all our racing facilities and equipment with due diligence,” and that “blaming our racetrack for any accident is most unfair particularly without considering other equally important factors that may have caused any accident. However, we would like to assure that we will do what is necessary to address all concerns.”

Jockeys presented data supporting their position on a meeting held at Philracom on Nov. 7. Races were held that night after Philracom Chairman Angel L. Castaño Jr. mediated between the parties involved to find a resolution to the issue.


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THW: Pugad Lawin soars in PCSO Anniversary Race

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 15 October 2014, Wednesday

Pugad Lawin soars in PCSO Anniversary Race

In the absence of heavyweight Hagdang Bato, Antonio Tan’s veteran campaigner Pugad Lawin easily won the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office last Oct. 12 at the Metro Turf racecourse, Malvar, Batangas.

The defending champion of the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup race won by ten lengths over Honorato Neri’s Sky Dragon, who came in second. Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos’s El Libertador placed third and Tan’s Furniture King fourth and last.

Pugad Lawin (Refuse to Bend x Unstoppable Lady) was ridden by Patricio Dilema instead of Jesse Guce who had fallen in a previous race. The clock stopped at 1:34 (24.2-21.8-22.6-25.4) for the mile race.

It looks like Pugad Lawin is in great condition nowadays, considering that he had the disadvantage of an additional half-kilo handicap weight compared to the others.

The win was worth P800,000 and fourth place P150,000 for Tan.

The Abalos-owned Hagdang Bato was withdrawn after suffering a quarter crack that bled twice prior to the event. Racing fans were disappointed; they’d been expecting a grudge match between Hagdang Bato and his nemesis Pugad Lawin.

Abalos, who had been training Hagdang Bato at Metro Turf, said the condition of the track there might have aggravated the horse’s injury. Jockeys and other horseowners have also drawn attention many times to the hardness of the track, which is alleged to have less than the optimal thickness of surface cushioning of sand.

In fact, because the times posted at Metro Turf are inordinately fast, the Philippine Racing Commission does not recognize these for official Philippines track record purposes.

* * * * *

Despite Hagdang Bato being sidelined from a major race, Abalos still had reasons to smile last Sunday after his 3YO filly Malaya bested four others to win the Philracom Sampaguita Stakes race also at Metro Turf.

Malaya (Sky Mesa x Dream Bride), sent off as the favorite, ran off the pace guided by Jonathan Hernandez. The tandem rallied at the far turn to win by four lengths over Cat’s Diamond and earn P900,000.

Queen Quaker placed third, Spring Collection fourth, and Morning Time last. The time for the 1,800-meter race was 1:48.8 (13.2-22.8-23.4-23-26.4).


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THW: MARHO Ruby lineups

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 5 November 2014, Wednesday


MARHO Ruby lineups

The declaration day for the six championship stakes races of the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners racing festival – MARHO Ruby – was held last Oct. 28, and here are the lineups, with the entries’ corresponding handicap weights:

MARHO Ruby Sprint, 1,000 meters: Jeci Lapus’s Carriedo, 56 kgs.; Joseph Dyhengco’s Eurasian, 54; Ferdinand Roxas’s Karapatan, 56; SC Stockfarm’s Lord of War, 56, and Nemesis, 54; and Aristeo Puyat’s Market Value, 54.

MARHO Ruby Juvenile Fillies, 1,500 meters, all 53 kgs: SC Stockfarm’s Cat’s Thunder, Lapus’s Clandestine, Felipe Vergara’s Driven, Juancho Ferrariza’s Epic, Dyhengco’s Hook Shot, Lolita Tañala’s Leona Lolita, Bingson Tecson’s Princess Meili, Dynamic R Center’s Surplus Queen, and Ruben Dimacuha’s Takeitorleaveit.

MARHO Ruby Juvenile Colts, 1,500 meters, all 53 kgs: Zenaida de Guzman’s Alakdan, Ferdinand Eusebio’s Bangkal Too, SC Stockfarm’s Cat’s Express, Dyhengco’s Dixie Storm and Sky Hook, Amor Nacional’s Karangalan, Aurora Sevilla’s Lover’s Cross, Stormbred Farm’s Spicy Time, and Herminio Esguerra’s Super Spicy.

MARHO Ruby Filly Mile, all 54 kgs: SC Stockfarm’s Chiefkeefsosa, Leonardo Javier Jr.’s Marinx, Antonio Tan Jr.’s Palos, Lapus’s Roman Charm, Puyat’s Tip Toes, and Raphael Abacan’s Yes I Can.

MARHO Ruby Colt Mile, all 54 kgs: Eric Tagle’s High Grader, Benhur Abalos’s Kanlaon and King Bull, Maverick Javier’s Mabsoy, Esguerra’s Manalig Ka and Mr. Bond, Vergara’s Mud Slide Slim, Dyhengco’s Wild Talk, and Lapus’s Young Turk.

MARHO Ruby Classic, 2,000 meters: Esguerra’s Borjkhalifa, 57kgs; Sixto Esquivias IV’s Boss Jaden, 57; Marlon Cunanan’s Cat’s Diamond, 55; Abalos’s El Libertador, 57; Dyhengco’s Hot and Spicy, 57; Enrique Javier’s Immaculate, 55; and Ferrariza’s Royal Jewels, 57.

The MARHO Ruby racefest, in celebration of the organization’s 40th anniversary, will be held Nov. 29-30 at San Lazaro Leisure Park. Championship Day, when these six stakes races will be held, is on Nov. 30, Sunday.

* * * * *

This weekend at SLLP: on Nov. 8, Saturday, the 1,300-meter Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office 2YO Special Maiden race. The trial race was won by Takeitorleaveit with 1:24’, with Lady of Diamonds second, followed by Mayweather, Driven, Pamulinawen, and Red Lakota last.

On Nov. 9, Sunday, the The Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization racefest featuring the 1,400-meter Philtobo 2YO in Training Sale Graduate Stakes, and five or six Philtobo special races.

The lineups for both the PCSO Special Maiden race and the Philtobo 2YO stakes race were in my column last Wednesday. (Check out the archive at


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THW: PCSO plans Presidential Gold Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 29 October 2014, Wednesday

PCSO plans Presidential Gold Cup

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Racing Committee is preparing for its flagship race, the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup, to be held Dec. 21 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

The declaration of entries is tentatively set for Nov. 20, with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement with race partners MJC and Philippine Racing Commission to be held soon after.

This Gold Cup, the 42nd, is all the more special as it is held during the PCSO’s 80th anniversary year.

The event is sure to draw the elite thoroughbreds of the sport, given its prestige as the longest-continuously held sporting event in the country and its hefty prize money of P4 million (P3 million from PCSO and P1 million from Philracom).

* * * * *

Takeitorleaveit won the trial race for the PCSO 2YO Special Maiden race last Oct. 24 at SLLP.

The filly owned by Ruben Dimacuha and ridden by Mark Alvarez finished five lengths ahead of second placer Lady of Diamonds. They were followed by Mayweather, Driven, Pamulinawen, and Red Lakota last.

Total time for the race was 1:24’ (7-23’-25-29) over 1,300 meters. The actual race is set for Nov. 8.

* * * * *

The Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization will be staging a race festival on Nov. 9 also at SLLP.

The main race is dubbed the “Philtobo 2YO in Training Sale Graduate Stakes” and will be run over 1,400-meters with eight entries: SC Stockfarm’s Jebel Ali to be ridden by jockey JB Hernandez and Cat Express with CV Garganta, Raymund Puyat’s Valley Ridge with FM Raquel Jr. and Dolce Ballerina with KB Abobo, Felizardo Sevilla Jr.’s Air Control with LT Cuadra Jr., JRS Farm’s Thermal Break with CS Pare Jr., and Ferdinand Eusebio’s Bangkal Too with CM Pilapil and Tejeros with MA Alvarez.

The guaranteed prize for first is P1 million, with P50,000 added for second place, P30,000 added for third, and P20,000 added for fourth, for a total of P1.1 million in prize money.

There will also be five or six Philtobo special races on that day. The event is supported by Philracom, MJC, PCSO, SC Stockfarm, Jade Bros., Globe Master, Ridgemont Feedmill, and horseowner Marlon Cunanan.

Philtobo will also be staging its annual Championship Racing Festival in December.

* * * * *

Congratulations to the Klub Don Juan de Manila on their recent successful staging of the KDJM Derby earlier this month at Metro Manila Turf Club.

Backed by major sponsor Solaire Resort and Casino, the winners and placers of the racing festival are:

Don Juan Derby: 1st, Herminio Esguerra’s Mr Bond, ridden by FM Raquel;

2nd, Leonardo M. Javier Jr.’s Tap Dance with PR Dilema; 3rd, Bayani Coching’s Bently with DH Borbe Jr.; and 4th, Rancho Sta. Rosa’s Husso Porte with JA Guce.

Don Antonio Golden Girls Stakes: 1st, Henedino Gianan Jr.’s Silver Sword with JA Guce; 2nd, Divina Dy’s Strong Champion with FM Raquel; 3rd, Joy Raymundo’s Sliotar with NK Calingasan; and 4th, SC Stockfarm’s Passive with CV Garganta.

KDJM Juvenile Colts: 1st, SC Stockfarm’s Cats Express with CV Garganta; 2nd, Stormbred Farm’s Spicy Time with RR Camanero; 3rd, Jeci Lapus’s Fear Nothing with JB Hernandez; and 4th, Ferdinand Dimaisip’s All Too Well with RO Niu.

KDJM Juvenile Fillies: 1st, SC Stockfarm’s Cats Thunder with JA Guce; 2nd, EP Logarta’s Shout for Joy with JB Hernandez; 3rd, Jeci Lapus’s Clandestine with RG Fernandez; and 4th, Wilbert Tan’s Tubbataha Reef with JPA Guce.

Magic Millions Stakes: 1st, Rainier Leopando’s Oh My Rairai with CB Tamano; 2nd, Bienvenido Niles Jr.’s Saturday Magic with JT Zarate; 3rd, Atty Narciso Morales’s Forever My Love with KB Abobo; and 4th, Angelo Barretto’s June Three with FM Raquel Jr.


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THW: Fat prizes for MARHO Ruby racefest

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 22 October 2014, Wednesday

Fat prizes for MARHO Ruby racefest

The Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners announced the purses, distances, and handicap weights for the six championship races of their racing festival to be held Nov. 29-30 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Dubbed the “MARHO Ruby,” the event is on its 19th running and is all the more special as it occurs in the organization’s 40th anniversary year.

This is the first time the MARHO Championships will be held at SLLP.

The MARHO Classic for older horses will be run over 2,050 meters, with colts to carry 57 kgs., fillies 55 kgs.

The MARHO- 3YO Colt Mile and the MARHO-Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office 3YO Filly Mile have a distance of 1,600 meters with handicap weight set 54 kgs..

The MARHO-Philracom Juvenile Colts and MARHO-Philracom Juvenile Fillies races are set at a distance of 1,500 meters, handicap weight 53 kgs.

The MARHO-MJC Sprint is at 1,000 meters, with colts to carry 56 kgs. and fillies 54 kgs.

One million pesos in prize money is allotted per race, with the breakdown as follows: first prize, P600,000; second, P225,000; third, P125,000; and fourth, P50,000.

There is a guaranteed purse of P150,000 for MARHO-member winners of the over 20 MARHO trophy races for MARHO weekend, and a trophy for non-MARHO-member winners.

Participants – horseowners and trainers – are advised that the declaration date is Oct. 28, Tuesday. Declaration fees for each of these six championship races are P10,000 for MARHO members and P20,000 for non-MARHO members. Only local-bred and MARHO-nominated horses are eligible to join. Declaration fees are non-refundable.

MARHO Vice-President for Racing Butch Mamon revealed that the trophies he chose for this year’s event marking the organization’s 40th founding year are collectors’ items.

“These are resin figures: a field of racehorses for the winning owner, and a mare and foal for the winning breeder,” he said. Jockeys, trainers, and trophy race winners will receive regular trophies in the MARHO Ruby commemorative design.

“We invite horseowners to enter their horses in this landmark event,” said MARHO Chairman Leonardo “Sandy” M. Javier Jr. “Over the decades, MARHO has strived to remain true to its vision of a progressive and developed racing and breeding industry, and to its mission to promote Thoroughbred activities that lead to nation-building.

“The MARHO Championships are part of the fulfillment of that effort, and those who join can be sure that their participation furthers industry goals.”

* * * * *

Seven horses are declared for the Nov. 8 PCSO Special Maiden race at SLLP, with the trial to take place on Oct. 24.

The entries are Ruben Dimacuha’s filly Takeitorleaveit, to be ridden by jockey Jessie Guce; Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos’s filly Pamulinawen, with Jonathan Hernandez; Alchy Enterprises’ filly Lady of Diamonds with Antonio B. Alcasid Jr.; Hideaway Farm’s colt Cinderella Man with Christopher Tamano; JRS Farm’s filly Red Lakota with Val Dilema; Felipe Vergara’s filly Driven with Kelvin Abobo; and SC Stockfarm’s colt Mayweather, with John Alvin Guce.

Handicapping is set weight, with colts to carry 54 kgs. and fillies 52 kgs. Prizes are as follows: P600,00 for first, P225,000 for second, and P125,000 for third. The winning breeder will receive P50,000.


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THW: Hagdang Bato gears up for PCSO Anniversary Race

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 8 October 2014, Wednesday


Hagdang Bato gears up for PCSO Anniversary Race

Hagdang Bato is preparing to meet Pugad Lawin and his other foes in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Anniversary Race on Oct. 12 at Metro Turf.

According to the track icon’s owner, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur C. Abalos, what seemed to be a quarter-crack in one of Hagdang Bato’s hooves gave them some concern over the past few days, but the results of an x-ray showed that the horse is fine, “walang diperensiya.”

A quarter crack is a vertical split in the hoof wall and may be caused during the horse’s work. It can be exacerbated by genetics (the natural hoof conformation) or improper shoeing, among other causes. The hoof wall is elastic but tough – it is anatomically analogous to the fingernail or toenail in humans.

Also in this mile race are Sky Dragon, Furniture King, El Libertador, and That Is  Mine (the only filly entered).

The race is part of the PCSO’s celebration of its 80th founding anniversary this year.

* * * * *

Mere fourth choice Sky Hook came from behind to score an upset over the favorite Showtime in the PCSO Special Maiden Race last Oct. 4 at Santa Ana Park.

Showtime was first out of the gate, followed closely by Enchanted and Jenz Slasher two lengths away. At the backstretch, Enchanted had grabbed the lead with Jebel Ali and Jenz Slasher in pursuit, the others biding their time behind.

Both Showtime and Sky Hook started moving up at the far turn and ran head to head down the stretch, an exciting move that had racing fans shouting themselves hoarse.

It was pretty close at the wire, but the judges declared it Sky Hook by a neck. Showtime was second, followed by Valley Ridge. The time for the 1,200-meter race was 1:13.8 (24-23-26’).

On hand at the awarding area were, from the sponsor PCSO, Vice Chairman and General Manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, and members of the PCSO Racing Committee including vice-chairmen Carlos Castillo and Desoto Tupas.

From the host club, Philippine Racing Club, came EVP-COO Allan V. Abesamis and Racing Manager Juan Eric Salido.

Representing Sky Hook’s owner, Joseph Dyhengco, at the awarding ceremony was former jockey Dante Salazar, while winning trainer Anthony Francisco and jockey Jordan Cordova stepped forward to receive their own trophies. The winning breeder was Dyhengco’s Cool Summer Farm.

Sky Hook’s connections bagged P600,000 for first plus the P50,000 breeder’s purse. The second placer got P225,000 and the third placer, P125,000.

The next PCSO Special Maiden race is on Nov. 8 at San Lazaro Leisure Park.


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THW: Hagdang Bato vs Pugad Lawin in PCSO Anniversary race

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 1 October 2014, Wednesday


Hagdang Bato vs Pugad Lawin in PCSO Anniversary race

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office will be holding two races this month, this weekend and the next, and both promise to be exciting for different reasons.

This Saturday (Oct. 4), Santa Ana Park will showcase a PCSO Special Maiden race for 2YO over 1,200 meters.

In the official lineup are Raymund Puyat’s colt Valley Ridge, to be ridden by Fernando Raquel Jr.; Narciso Morales’s colt Talilibanana with Mark Alvarez; Marissa Sordan’s filly Corragioso with Pat Dilema;

Paolo Crisostomo’s filly Pangkaraniwan with MV Pilapil; Oliver Velasquez’s colt Showtime with John Alvin Guce; Pierre Niles’s filly Enchanted with Kelvin Abobo; SC Stock Farm’s colt Jebel Ali with John Paul Guce; Joseph Dyhengco’s colt Sky Hook with Jeffril Zarate; and Joel Songsong’s colt Jens Slasher with RM Telles.

The race handicapping is set weight, with colts to carry 54 kgs. and fillies 52 kgs.

The winner of the trial race held last Sep. 19 was Showtime, clocking 1:16.8 (24’-23’-28). Enchanted came in second at 1:17.2, Jebel Ali third at 1:176, and Corragioso fourth at 1:17.8.

The other finishers were, in order: Sky Hook, Valley Ridge, Money Talks (scratched from the actual race), Talilibanana, Pangkaraniwan, and Jens Slasher last.

The other PCSO race to be held this month is the Anniversary Race on Oct. 12, Sunday, at Metro Turf. The event commemorates the agency’s 80th founding year.

To be run over a mile, the event pits arch-rivals Hagdang Bato and Pugad Lawin against each other and versus upstarts Sky Dragon, Furniture King, El Libertador, and That Is Mine (the lone filly in this race).

Looking at the lineup, it seems to be a grudge match between Pugad Lawin’s owner Tony Tan, who is also fielding Furniture King, and Hagdang Bato’s owner, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, who is coupling his champion with El Libertador.

The coupled entries will likely serve as rabbits to wear down the competition and allow the icons of the Tan and Abalos stables to either run unimpeded in front or stage come-from-behind rallies, depending on the strategies executed.

Honorato Neri’s Sky Dragon and Rafael Abacan’s That Is Mine will be pressured to weave their way between and around the four others.

Pugad Lawin beat Hagdang Bato for the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup in December last year and the PCSO Silver Cup in June this year. I don’t think Hagdang Bato’s connections will want a third loss to Pugad Lawin, and they’ll do all they can to ensure a victory this time around.

Racing fans are eagerly awaiting this rematch, so kudos to the owners for gamely entering their prize champions in the PCSO 80th Anniversary Race, for the enjoyment of fans and for another shot at fortune and glory.

The first prize is P800,000, with hefty purses up to fourth place.


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THW: Princess Meili scores upset in PCSO race

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 24 September 2014, Wednesday


Princess Meili scores upset in PCSO race

Lightly-regarded Princess Meili shocked racing fans by winning the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race last Sep. 20 at Metro Turf racetrack.

Trial race winners SI Rookie and Hurricane Ridge were the top sellers in the betting. The lead was taken by Epic, with SI Rookie off the pace, and Dauntless running in third.

At the backstretch, Princess Meili, guided by Jonathan Hernandez, took the rail lane, though a tight fit, saving ground. Longshot Miss Brulay moved up as well and the two fillies ran neck-and-neck down the stretch, with Princess Meili persevering enough to win by half-a-length.

The winning horseowner, Bingson U. Tecson, a newcomer to racing, was much elated by his filly’s victory. By Hook and Ladder out of Feverishly, Princess Meili is trained by Donato Sordan.

The clock stopped at 1.23.2 ((12’-20’-23-27’) for the 1,400-meter race.

On hand to present the trophies to the connections were PCSO Acting Chairman and General Manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, PCSO Gaming Sector Assistant General Manager Conrado C. Zabella, and other officials and members of the PCSO Racing Committee.

* * * * *

On the same day in the previous race – the Inquirer-Bandera-PCSO Trophy Race – Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos’s fleet filly Malaya pulverized six other foes to win by 2.5 lengths.

Sent off as the mega-outstanding favorite, Malaya, steered by Jonathan Hernandez and trained by Ruben Tupas, ran off the pace to frontrunners Handsome Prince and Spring Collection.

In typical stayer fashion, Malaya grabbed the lead at the home turn and posted an easy win without the use of the whip.

The time for the 1,400-meter race was 1:22.2 (12’-21-22-27).

The event, as well as seven others on the same card, were for the benefit of the Inquirer Newsboy Foundation and Bandera Lapis at Papel Campaign.

* * * * *

Cat Express won the Philippine Racing Commission 2nd leg Juvenile Colts and Fillies stakes last Sep. 21 also at Metro Turf, posting 1.10.2 (23.2-22-25) for the 1,200-meter race.

The other placers were, in order: Leona Lolita, Princess Ella, and Karangalan.

* * * * *

Philracom’s Commissioner Jesus B. Cantos recently announced the lineup of the Philracom Chairman’s Cup in honor of lawyer Benedicto Kalaw Katigbak – the “Millenium Transition Chairman.”

The 1,600-meter race set for Sunday, Sep. 28, at San Lazaro Leisure Park features 3YO local colts and fillies. The officially declared entries are Barcelona, Manalig Ka, Low Profile, Think Twice, Messi, and two sets of coupled entries – Kanlaon and King Bull, and Top Dance and Marinx.

This is a difficult race because there are quite a few talented entries. I’m going with Low Profile and the tandem of Kanlaon and King Bull, though Marinx should not be discounted.

* * * * *

Philracom announced with sorrow the passing last Sep. 21 of Commissioner Reynaldo G. Fernando, DVM. “Doc Eyo”, as he was known in racing, worked many years for Don Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr.

Another commissioner, lawyer Franco Loyola, passed away last August. ***

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THW: Marketing for racing

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 17 September 2014, Wednesday


Marketing for racing

The Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing (RDB) Racing Festival held last Aug. 17 at San Lazaro Leisure Park not only broke records for most successful raceday this year, but also held some lessons on how racing marketing should be done.

Gross betting turnover that day hit P43.4 million, figures that have barely been seen since the betting machine systems of Manila Jockey Club and Philippine Racing Club went their separate ways (long story, and this was way before the advent of Metro Manila Turf Club).

Having been a racing coverage announcer for eight years for both MJC and PRC, I tracked the patterns of gross sales and saw the decline after the debacle with the machines (another long story) and the confused racing calendar during the first year of the three racetrack-era.

It’s good to note that with the racing schedule having settled down and patrons and participants having gotten used to the new ways, sales are picking up. The sales during the Bagatsing racefest may be pointed to as an example of this, but at that amount, it’s an outlier.

“It’s all about marketing,” says lawyer Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., a longtime horseowner-breeder and son of the late great RDB. Working in cooperation with MJC, the Bagatsing family made sure that the races during RDB weekend and also the week before at MJC were interesting and exciting.

Atty. Bagatsing says they tapped as many corporate sponsors as possible, and were gratified with the huge support given by Resorts World Manila and their other backers, who knew their participation would provide them with excellent exposure to the niche market of racing fans.

* * * * *

Commissioner Jesus B. Cantos of the Philippine Racing Commission recently announced the lineup of declared entries for the Philracom-sponsored 2nd leg Juvenile Colts and Fillies stakes race.

There are seven runners, but they will be considered as six numbers in the betting as two are coupled entries: Breaking Bad, Leona Lolita, Princess Ella coupled with Cat Express, Señor Patrick, Tubbataha Reefs, and Karangalan.

The million-peso race will take place over 1,200 meters at Metro Manila Turf Club on Sep. 21.

* * * * *

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office will be holding a 1,400-meter Special Maiden Race on Sep. 20, also at Metro Turf.

The 12 runners are: Epic, Alakdan, Princess Meili, S I Rookie, Miss Brulay, Rock My World, Silent Moment, Dolce Ballerina, Hurricane Ridge, Real Talk, All Too Well, and Dauntless.

Hurricane Ridge and S I Rookie won the two race trials held Sep. 5. Two trials were held because there were fifteen nominees. (Our starting gates hold only 14 entries.) Both clocked 1:24.

Since these are 2YO, it’s pretty much a toss-up between these two, and I’d add Miss Brulay and Princess Meili for my quartet.

* * * * *

Sincerest thanks to Philippines Graphic magazine for honoring me with the second prize in this year’s Nick Joaquin Literary Awards, held last Sep. 11, for my short story “Wolves I Have Known,” which was published in the magazine last January. ***

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THW: Hurricane Ridge, SI Rookie, dominate PCSO trials

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 10 September 2014, Wednesday


Hurricane Ridge, SI Rookie, dominate PCSO trials

Fifteen juveniles showed up for the trial race for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race for 2YO last Sep. 5 at Metro Turf in Malvar, Batangas.

They were split into two groups for the 1,400-meter trial. Hurricane Ridge, ridden by Jeffril Zarate, placed first in the first group of eight horses with a time of 1:24, followed by Miss Brulay (1:24.2) and Alakdan (1:25).

In the seven-horse second group, S I Rookie, under Jesse Guce, came in first also with 1:24, followed by Princess Meili (1:24’) and Rock My World (1:26.2).

The 12 runners for the actual race on Sep. 20 at Metro Turf are: Epic, Alakdan, Princess Meili, S I Rookie, Miss Brulay, Rock My World, Silent Moment, Dolce Ballerina, Hurricane Ridge, Real Talk, All Too Well, and Dauntless.

PCSO will be holding another Special Maiden race on Oct. 4 at Santa Ana Park. The declared runners for the 1,200-meter race are Money Talks, Valley Ridge, Talilibanana, Gimmearun, Corragioso, Pangkaraniwan, Showtime, Enchanted, Jebel Ali, and Sky Hook.

* * * * *

Thanks to Commissioner Jesus B. Cantos of the Philippine Racing Commission for sharing the latest information on upcoming stakes races.

In a text, he revealed the nominated entries for the 1,200-meter 2nd leg Juvenile Race on Sep. 21 at Metro Turf.

‘It’s a joint race for 2YO colts and fillies with P1 million,” said Cantos. The entries are Breaking Bad, Shout for Joy, Leona Lolita, Panglao Island, Princess Ella, Cat Express, Señor Patrick, Tubbataha Reefs, and Karangalan.

* * * * *

Congratulations in advance to lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, better known to racing industry members as “Atty. Joy,” former Philracom chairman and now acting chairman and general manager of PCSO, on his first art show, “Horse Power.”

He is the first artist coming from the industry creating works about racing. His mixed-media works will be displayed with those of eight veteran artists and three other guests artists. All the artworks are horse-themed.

Ace photographer Mandy Navasero, who curates the show, will also exhibit her photos of prominent horsemen and personalities – horseowners Hermie Esguerra and Nonoy and Angie Niles; racetrack owner Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr.; Philracom chairman Jun Castaño and Commissioner Jess Cantos; and others.

I don’t want to reveal too much before the show itself, but here’s a clue to the images in Rojas’s works: jockeys, programas, divizas, trophies, and other artifacts of the racing life.

The show will be open to the public on Sep. 12 to 17 at LRI Design Plaza, N. Garcia St., Bel-Air II, Makati (near St. Andrew’s Church).


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